the great vegetarian debate

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Alex123 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:25 pm

clw_uk wrote:Ideally no one should kill, however if someone had invited you for a meal and offers you left over meat then there is no harm in eating it, since it was going in the bin anyway. In fact to reject it because of the "idealism" of being a vegetarian would be more unskilful than eating the meat, since it would be clinging to rites and rituals. You would be acting out of aversion and delusion .


There are people who are starving and would love to eat anything, and yet some modern and affluent people can just throw away food because they are morally against it. Terrible waste!

I've probably been raised not in a rich environment because I've heard phrases such as "Finish your plate! Kids are starving in Africa". Sometimes some people can't be too picky about food or throw it away.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby clw_uk » Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:34 pm

Alex123 wrote:
clw_uk wrote:Ideally no one should kill, however if someone had invited you for a meal and offers you left over meat then there is no harm in eating it, since it was going in the bin anyway. In fact to reject it because of the "idealism" of being a vegetarian would be more unskilful than eating the meat, since it would be clinging to rites and rituals. You would be acting out of aversion and delusion .


There are people who are starving and would love to eat anything, and yet some modern and affluent people can just throw away food because they are morally against it. Terrible waste!

I've probably been raised pretty poor because I've heard phrases such as "Finish your plate! Kids are starving in Africa".




That's very true

Unfortunately the capitalist system is terribly wasteful and inefficient

I did read somewhere that there is actually enough food available to give every humans 3000 calories, and so make us all fat

Sadly I can't cite it though
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Aloka » Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:53 pm

clw_uk wrote:
wow, really? is it true? the point is not killing? So the animals who are on the dishes are served alive?



Ideally no one should kill, however if someone had invited you for a meal and offers you left over meat then there is no harm in eating it, since it was going in the bin anyway. In fact to reject it because of the "idealism" of being a vegetarian would be more unskilful than eating the meat, since it would be clinging to rites and rituals..


I was a vegetarian long before I was a Buddhist and I've disliked the taste of meat since I was a child. I could hardly have been 'clinging to rites and rituals' if I rejected it when I was at Primary school.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Alex123 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:06 pm

Aloka wrote:I was a vegetarian long before I was a Buddhist and I've disliked the taste of meat since I was a child. I could hardly have been 'clinging to rites and rituals' if I rejected it when I was at Primary school.


You are so lucky that you could choose what to eat rather than to eat or go hungry. Not every person has the luxury to eat what they want and what tastes good.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Aloka » Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:11 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Aloka wrote:I was a vegetarian long before I was a Buddhist and I've disliked the taste of meat since I was a child. I could hardly have been 'clinging to rites and rituals' if I rejected it when I was at Primary school.


You are so lucky that you could choose what to eat rather than to eat or go hungry. Not every person has the luxury to eat what they want and what tastes good.


Who said I was allowed to choose ? My father went crazy when I retched at the taste of meat - and I wasn't offered an alternative.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:46 pm

clw_uk wrote:I did read somewhere that there is actually enough food available to give every humans 3000 calories, and so make us all fat


Especially on a vegetarian agricultural system since you wouldn't have all that grain being used to feed cattle. There would be less cattle bred and more grain for humans. But you're right, there is also a distribution problem.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:49 pm

Alex123 wrote:There are people who are starving and would love to eat anything, and yet some modern and affluent people can just throw away food because they are morally against it. Terrible waste!


This rarely happens. Most vegetarians make it known that they are vegetarian and no one serves them meat or left-overs, knowing that they are vegetarian. Once in a great while at a restaurant, I find out that the soup I am eating has animal stock in it or there is lard in my beans or some other by-product. I still eat it even though I am vegetarian, since I know it is no use to let it be thrown out.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Mkoll » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:17 pm

Dear friends,

From this page:

Does the world produce enough food to feed everyone?

The world produces enough food to feed everyone. World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day according to the most recent estimate that we could find (FAO 2002, p.9). The principal problem is that many people in the world do not have sufficient land to grow, or income to purchase, enough food.


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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby nekete » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:53 pm

"(...)Many people question why vegetarianism is not stipulated in Theravada Buddhism. Monks rely on alms food, so they eat what they are given. Of course, they are free no to eat the meat which is offered, but purity is seen to lie more in accepting offerings without discriminating as to good and bad than in what one eats. The only prohibitions concerning meat are that if a bhikkhu knows or suspects that an animal has been killed specifically for his food, he may no accept it, raw meat and raw fish are proscribed as are the meats of certains animals, such as horse, dos, snake and elephant.

Some bhikkhus do choose to be vegetarian though in Thailand this can sometimes mean a lean diet and some abbots suggest to their lay supporters that it would be more skilfull do avoid offering meat to the bhikkhu sangha. Ajahn Sumeddho many years ago inspired the Bung Wai Supporters to start preparing vegetarian food in the wat(...)"

From the book Venerable Father: A life with Ajahn Chah by Paul Brieter.

That's the point.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby robertk » Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:08 pm

nekete wrote:"(...)Many people question

Some bhikkhus do choose to be vegetarian though in Thailand this can sometimes mean a lean diet and some abbots suggest to their lay supporters that it would be more skilfull do avoid offering meat to the bhikkhu sangha. Ajahn Sumeddho many years ago inspired the Bung Wai Supporters to start preparing vegetarian food in the wat(...)"

From the book Venerable Father: A life with Ajahn Chah by Paul Brieter.

That's the point.


and these lay supporters who give vegetarian food to monks are more skilful and wise than General Siha?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:36 am

clw_uk wrote:Hence why the Buddha ate meat and allowed his monks to do so, but forbade them from killing or having animals killed for them.


The clear intention of the 3-fold rule was to prevent additional / unecessary killing of animals for food, ie not adding to the demand for meat.

In a modern context the meat industry works on supply and demand, so buying meat is adding to the demand. So it seems that a modern lay-Buddhist buying meat is contravening the intention of the 3-fold rule.
Last edited by Spiny Norman on Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:39 am

clw_uk wrote:
wow, really? is it true? the point is not killing? So the animals who are on the dishes are served alive?



Ideally no one should kill, however if someone had invited you for a meal and offers you left over meat then there is no harm in eating it, since it was going in the bin anyway.


I agree. If meat has already been cooked and would otherwise be thrown away then the damage has already been done, and there is no harm in eating it. Though I suspect most people who'd been off meat for some time wouldn't want to eat it anyway.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby binocular » Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:28 am

clw_uk wrote:
wow, really? is it true? the point is not killing? So the animals who are on the dishes are served alive?


Ideally no one should kill, however if someone had invited you for a meal and offers you left over meat then there is no harm in eating it, since it was going in the bin anyway. In fact to reject it because of the "idealism" of being a vegetarian would be more unskilful than eating the meat, since it would be clinging to rites and rituals. You would be acting out of aversion and delusion

Hence why the Buddha ate meat and allowed his monks to do so, but forbade them from killing or having animals killed for them.



/.../

"And how is physical food to be regarded? Suppose a couple, husband & wife, taking meager provisions, were to travel through a desert. With them would be their only baby son, dear & appealing. Then the meager provisions of the couple going through the desert would be used up & depleted while there was still a stretch of the desert yet to be crossed. The thought would occur to them, 'Our meager provisions are used up & depleted while there is still a stretch of this desert yet to be crossed. What if we were to kill this only baby son of ours, dear & appealing, and make dried meat & jerky. That way — chewing on the flesh of our son — at least the two of us would make it through this desert. Otherwise, all three of us would perish.' So they would kill their only baby son, loved & endearing, and make dried meat & jerky. Chewing on the flesh of their son, they would make it through the desert. While eating the flesh of their only son, they would beat their breasts, [crying,] 'Where have you gone, our only baby son? Where have you gone, our only baby son?' Now what do you think, monks: Would that couple eat that food playfully or for intoxication, or for putting on bulk, or for beautification?"

"No, lord."

"Wouldn't they eat that food simply for the sake of making it through that desert?"

"Yes, lord."

/.../

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



/.../
"And how does a monk know moderation in eating? There is the case where a monk, considering it appropriately, takes his food not playfully, nor for intoxication, nor for putting on bulk, nor for beautification, but simply for the survival & continuance of this body, for ending its afflictions, for the support of the holy life, thinking, 'I will destroy old feelings [of hunger] & not create new feelings [from overeating]. Thus I will maintain myself, be blameless, & live in comfort.' This is how a monk knows moderation in eating.
/.../
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


If one eats food playfully or for intoxication, or for putting on bulk, or for beautification, then one is acting the wrong way.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:59 pm

binocular wrote:

"'Now what do you think, monks: Would that couple eat that food playfully or for intoxication, or for putting on bulk, or for beautification?"
"No, lord."
"Wouldn't they eat that food simply for the sake of making it through that desert?"
"Yes, lord."

/.../

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



So it's OK to eat babies providing one does it mindfully? :rolleye:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Mkoll » Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:31 pm

Dear Spiny Norman,

I don't think that's the message of the simile. The message is that a bhikkhu should regard the food he eats as though it were the flesh of his own child. This is the perception of the repulsiveness of food which leads to shrinking away from craving for tastes. The repulsiveness of food is one of the seven perceptions leading to the Deathless as per AN 7.49.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby binocular » Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:36 pm

Mkoll wrote:I don't think that's the message of the simile. The message is that a bhikkhu should regard the food he eats as though it were the flesh of his own child. This is the perception of the repulsiveness of food which leads to shrinking away from craving for tastes.

I don't think that the suttas I've quoted above instruct to have a sense of repulsiveness of food. I think they focus on what the proper intention is with which to eat. Given that so much pain, suffering, resources and efforts go into producing, transporting, preparing and procuring food, it is only right that we use food for wholesome purposes.

The repulsiveness of food is one of the seven perceptions leading to the Deathless as per AN 7.49.

You mean AN 7.46.


Spiny Norman wrote:So it's OK to eat babies providing one does it mindfully?

"Mindfulness" means to 'keep something in mind.' In this case, that something is the Noble Goal.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Mkoll » Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:34 pm

binocular wrote:
Mkoll wrote:I don't think that's the message of the simile. The message is that a bhikkhu should regard the food he eats as though it were the flesh of his own child. This is the perception of the repulsiveness of food which leads to shrinking away from craving for tastes.

I don't think that the suttas I've quoted above instruct to have a sense of repulsiveness of food. I think they focus on what the proper intention is with which to eat. Given that so much pain, suffering, resources and efforts go into producing, transporting, preparing and procuring food, it is only right that we use food for wholesome purposes.

The repulsiveness of food is one of the seven perceptions leading to the Deathless as per AN 7.49.

You mean AN 7.46.


Dear binocular,

That is true, thank you for bringing the subject of intention to mind. The Buddha advised both: repulsiveness of food and intention/purpose of food (this is only for maintenance and continuance of body, not for beautification, etc.). He also advised to eat, chew, taste, and swallow mindful of the body and clearly comprehending as per the satipatthana sutta.

Is there anything else regarding food in the suttas that come to mind?

Yes, AN 7.46 thank you.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby nekete » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:19 pm

Of course there is nothing wrong in eating meat. But to eat meat before somebody has to kill the animal to be eaten. If nobody kills de animal nobody will eat meat. If nobody eat meat nobody will kill the animal(s).

I found from time to time dead gazelles killed in a traffic accident when I go to the countryside. No problem eating that meat (I don't eat it). And of course, if you eat it, eat it mindfully, and drink whatever you drink also mindfully.

What's the problem telling the person who offers you a piece of meat (and you know that the animal has been killed after been enclosed and mistreated, don't be hypocrite) that you are vegetarian, or that you think that the animals deserve to live. I can't understand this point.

We all know the torture and torment and martyrdom and agony animals suffers to become a 'piece of meat on your dish'.

Monk or lay, do something to stop this horrible slaughter: Go vegetarian.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Alex123 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:52 pm

nekete wrote:Of course there is nothing wrong in eating meat. But to eat meat before somebody has to kill the animal to be eaten. If nobody kills de animal nobody will eat meat. If nobody eat meat nobody will kill the animal(s).


If a human will not eat that animal, chances are that some carnivorous animal will. And that animal will not be killed in a humane way either.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Dhammanando » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:30 pm

nekete wrote:What's the problem telling the person who offers you a piece of meat (and you know that the animal has been killed after been enclosed and mistreated, don't be hypocrite) that you are vegetarian, or that you think that the animals deserve to live.


The problem, as I see it, is that it would be priggish and uncivil behaviour for a guest. Moreover, being a sort of gastronomic equivalent of ‘overriding normal usage’ such behaviour is conducive to needless strife (i.e. needless because vegetarianism is not a requirement of Buddhist sīla) and therefore at odds with the spirit of non-conflict (araṇa).


An old post from Dhamma Study Group:

    Sarah Abbot: “Actually, it was on the very first day I first met [Acharn Sujin] that I had another of those Great Non-Pampering experiences. This one was on an earlier trip in Sri Lanka with Nina too ... I’d been a super-strict vegetarian for a few years, right through university and beyond. We sat down at a table of delicious curries and I started enquiring about the ingredients of the soup and explaining what I could and couldn’t eat. I was shocked when K. Sujin just seemed to ignore these concerns - which of course came well wrapped up in a long list of humane justifications - and put some soup in my bowl and then a very little of every kind of food on my plate. Ever so sweetly she told me to eat it out of consideration for our hostess.”

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